Australian Beehive Sizes and Super Box Depths

Should I choose an 8 or 10 Frame Beehive?

If you look at a typical Australian beehive, 99/100 it will be a Langstroth vertical beehive. These multi-storey beehives by far are the most popular however they usually come in one of two sizes. These being the 8 or 10 frame size, depicting the number of frames that the boxes capacity. Typically northern states such as QLD tend to use 10 Frame sized boxes, where down in Victoria and Tasmania they use 8's. NSW tend to have a mix. Although these are trends, you should not set your own buying habits by this. Think about which box sizes would be best for your own needs. If you are fully commercial and have lots of man-power then the 10 Size can be a perfect. However on the other end of the spectrum, for many urban beekeepers where it may be just them working on a hive, the 8 Frame size works well because of the reduced weight in carrying a box.

Be aware that if using the very popular Full Deep frames when using a 10 Frame box, these can weight up to 30kg. This is the reason if your back is not quite what it use to be, the 8 Frame sized hive becomes more appealing. You don't necessarily loose any honey going for the smaller size because you can simply throw on an additional box.

What Sized boxes are available for Langstroth Beehives?

If you look at the sizing in a different angle, each of these boxes can come in a range of flavours in regards it vertical depth.  

There are typically 5 heights available. Starting from the biggest they are called:

Full Depth (These are by far the most popular size and usually used for Brood and honey)

WSP (Named after Mr. Wyn Pender, a famous Australian manufacturer of equipment)

Manley (Named after John Manley, a well known English manufacturer)

Ideal (Popular for some amateur beekeepers if wanting to keep the weight down for a honey super or to give the bees some extra honey for the winter)

Half Depth (not very popular however if after a small super, most go for the Ideal size)

The majority of all beekeepers (95%) use the full depth size with all the other shallow sizes spread randomly across the country through both amateur and commercial beekeepers.

Below is a table of the exact inch sizes and an approximate metric equivalent for the various sizes of Australian bee supers. Frames and foundation are correspondingly smaller to allow for bee space.

Sizes of our Standard Bee Boxes

Full Depth
(Also known as a 'Deep')
9 9/16" 241mm approx. Buy it here >
(Also known as a 3/4 box)
7 5/8" 195mm approx. Coming soon

(Also known as a Medium box)

6 5/8" 169mm approx. Buy it here >
(Also known as a 'Half or Shallow box')
5 3/4" 144mm approx. Buy it here >
Half Depth
(Sometimes called a Comb Super)
4 3/4" 120mm approx.
Coming soon



Important about Frames and their boxes/supers

Please note that you cannot mix and match different sized frames with different box sizes. i.e put an ideal frame in a full depth box. Keep the same sized frame, with the same sized box/super.

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